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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
Post-BDM. Simon has a very important question for Kaylee and finally gets things right. Simon/Kaylee, Mal/Inara
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1179 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
A/N: This is unabashed fluff, something nice and light for Thanksgiving so you'll still have room for all that turkey. Enjoy!
Please keep those comments coming, they make my day.
And thanks to Leiasky for always reading my stuff ... even when I know she's swamped.
Best Intentions, ch. 12
Two hours later Kaylee was more than ready. Inara, the expert artist that she was, had used all the tools at her disposal to simply enhance Kaylee’s natural beauty. Her cheeks glowed with a rosy hue, her eyes bright and wide were surrounded by shadow and liner, her lips were full; her honey brown hair Inara had left long, opting to curl it in soft waves that fell to her shoulders and suited Kaylee. Nothing on her mei mei should ever be pinned back or restrained; she was a free spirit and Inara wanted to honor that, as she knew it was one of the chief reasons Simon had fallen for her so completely.
Kaylee stood in front of the floor length mirror in the master bedroom, smoothing her hands down the front of the green silk sheath she had donned. The fabric was shiny and rich, a slit running up one side to her mid-thigh – luckily not the side of her broken leg which was still a bit thin and pale compared to her other. Turning slightly, Kaylee admired the back of the dress, a deep scoop exposing her back, while the front of the dress sat right on her collarbone.
With a tentative smile, the young woman finally turned to her friends, both women sitting on the edge, admiring Kaylee as she admired herself. She was absolutely radiant. “Well?” Kaylee asked, her grin widening as River jumped off the bed and hugged her tight.
“Love you,” she whispered into the girl’s hair, knowing what was to transpire that evening and more than excited by the prospect of having an actual sister.
“I love you too, sweetie,” Kaylee said, a bit surprised by the girl’s reaction, but hugging her all the same.
“You look stunning, Kaylee,” Inara said, stepping forward and brushing some of the hair from her face. “Are you ready?”
Smiling wide, Kaylee felt a few butterflies flutter in her stomach. She smoothed her hand there, trying to remember the last time she’d felt nervous seeing Simon – it had probably been a good long while and while Kaylee did enjoy the comfort and familiarity of their relationship, she had to admit the excitement that coursed through her right now wasn’t so bad either.
Nodding to her friend, Inara offered her arm and Kaylee took it gladly. She still was not accustomed to walking unaided. Her therapy was going well, her leg healing nicely and she barely had felt any dizziness or nausea for a few days now. Her recovery was good, but it was slow and while Kaylee wanted to hurry things along, she wanted to feel better more, so she was trying to be patient.
River preceded them from the room, taking Inara’s things and a bag for herself and depositing them by the door, before stationing herself in the living room to await Kaylee’s entrance. She glanced to her brother, very handsome in his fine suit standing a bit nervously in the open door to the terrace and she smiled brightly at him. Simon caught sight of her and smiled back, but River could tell he was very nervous; what a boob.
Turning her attention back to the room’s entrance, River waited and stepped a bit to the side so that nothing would hinder Simon’s first sight of his soon-to-be finacee. As Kaylee rounded the corner, still on Inara’s arm, she inhaled at the sight before her. River closed her eyes for a moment, feeling the other woman’s joy and happiness wash over her; it was a peaceful and thrilling moment.
Kaylee could only stare with wide eyes as she took in the living room and the terrace beyond. On every surface, floor, furniture were vases and vases of yellow and white daisies. If Kaylee hadn’t known any better she’d have been certain she was standing in a field of them. Glancing to Inara with tear-filled eyes the former companion simply smiled at her and pressed a kiss to her cheek. “Have a good time, mei mei,” she whispered, unwrapping her arm from hers and steadying her as Simon strode forward to escort her the rest of the way.
Sharing a smile with his friend, Inara nodded once and then motioned for River to come along. River stopped for a second by them both and squealed a bit, before following Inara out, more than glad to be spending the night with her and Mal so that Kaylee and Simon could have some time alone.
Once the door shut behind them, Simon allowed his gaze to travel up and down Kaylee’s beautiful form. She was beyond breathtaking. Leaning down, he pressed a kiss to her cheek and murmured against her skin, “There aren’t words to describe how beautiful you are.”
She giggled slightly, clutching the hand he held a bit tighter and roved her eyes up and down his well-dressed body. “You ain’t so bad yourself,” Kaylee told him quietly, noting the way his jacket cut away just above his waist and trailed into tails. The blue vest he was wearing set off his amazingly blue eyes and against the white of his shirt he looked more than shiny, almost like he was sparkling.
Turning her gaze back to the flower-filled room, Kaylee leaned against his side as he walked her slowly towards the terrace. “Simon, I can’t believe – Where’d ya get all these flowers?” she asked, her fingers floating over the nearest petals as they stepped outside.
“Around,” he said nonchalantly, having vowed earlier that day never to tell Kaylee how difficult it had been to track down so many of her favorite flower. It seemed daisies were very ‘last season’ on Sihnon. “I hope you’re hungry,” he told her, smiling as her eyes lit at the sight of the finely arrayed dinner table before them.
“Am I ever,” Kaylee breathed, smiling kindly to him as he held out her chair and kissed her before circling the table to sit at his place.
Resting her chin on her hand, Kaylee stared at him for a moment as he served first her and then himself. The food smelled amazing and Kaylee’s stomach was definitely empty, but she found herself just looking, watching the way his lips puckered a bit as he concentrated on lifting the beans on the plate without spilling any or how he tried to proportion everything on both their plates perfectly. Or how in the moonlight, his eyes danced giving Kaylee the smallest glimpse of what he must have looked like as a boy, when he’d probably had a lot more cause to smile.
Placing her full plate in front of her, Simon finally caught her stare and blushed instantly. “What?” he asked hurriedly, glancing down to his shirt front and then to the table, worried he’d forgotten something or done something wrong. “What did I do?”
Smiling at him, Kaylee reached out her hand and covered his. “Nothin’, sweetie. I was jus’ starin’ is all.” Her cheeks flushed a bit as well, and Simon found the sight ridiculously adorable.
“Oh, well that’s all right then,” he said quietly. As they both started to dig in, he looked to her again and saw how she more toyed with her food than ate it. “Are you sure everything’s okay?” he asked again, reaching for his glass and taking a sip.
She nodded once, bringing her bright eyes up to his face and causing his breath to hitch in his throat. She was beautiful. “Why don’tcha ever talk about when you was a kid?” she asked innocently, taking a bite of food, waiting for him to answer.
“I’ve told you stories about Osiris,” he said, surprised when she shook her head and told him, “I’m not talkin’ ‘bout them stories, sake and the like,” she added, her eyes sparkling as she remembered that particularly embarrassing tale. “I mean, like when you was a boy, a lil’ guy. Din’t you climb trees or break a bone or get dirty?” Her eyes sweeping up and down his immaculate form, she frowned and said quietly, “Hmm, well, I guess not.” As he chuckled at her, she said, “Well, c’mon, you gotta have one story.”
Nodding, Simon chewed and swallowed, not really interested in reliving too many parts of his childhood; it hadn’t been horrible, not really, but it hadn’t exactly been the nirvana Kaylee probably suspected either. “I have a few stories,” he said slyly, watching as she leaned forward expectantly. Feeling suddenly on the spot, Simon cleared his throat and wracked his brain for an appropriate tale. Deciding on one he said, “Did you have zoos? Where you grew up?”
“You mean with animals and stuff?” she asked, continuing to eat. “Well, yeah, but normally they was travelin’, like with a circus, we din’t have nothin’ permanent.”
“Well, then I’ll have to be sure to take you to the zoo on Osiris one day,” he told her, sitting back in his seat, his water in his hand. “It’s incredible. Almost half of the exhibits are full of species from Earth-that-was, and in as close to their natural habitats as possible. When I was eight, I wanted to go so badly. I begged my mother and father for months leading up to my birthday.” Simon smiled a bit at the memory, remembering how he had ambushed both his parents, when they were feeding and changing River or when they were getting ready for work in the morning. “For a couple of weeks, I’d wait for my father at the front door, and as soon as he walked in, I’d bombard him with captures I’d downloaded from the cortex and stories about all the things I could learn there.”
Kaylee smiled and settled in to listen to Simon’s tale. His eyes had already started to flash with the memory and she found it endearing. “What was your favorite?” she asked, unable to resist. Inara had told her once that a lot could be learned about a person based on the animal they liked the most.
Looking to her, Simon smiled sheepishly and muttered, “Oh, it’s not important.”
Grinning wickedly, Kaylee knew it was the most important gorram thing ever. “Oh, yes it is,” she chided.
Laughing a bit at the look of pure delight playing across her face, he said quietly, “All right fine.” Looking to her again, she noted how his cheeks blushed a deep shade of red as he said, “Peacocks.”
Kaylee couldn’t help but giggle and immediately regretted it as Simon dropped his gaze back to his lap. “Oh, honey, I’m sorry,” she said quietly, still smiling, but doing her best to swallow her residual laughter. “It’s just, outta all the animals I thought you might say, that one was furthest from my mind.”
Simon nodded once. “I know, that’s why I wasn’t going to tell you.”
“Why peacocks?” she asked, truly curious.
Simon sighed again and said, “Well, they’re not totally pleasing to the eye, when they’re just standing there. But when they open their plumage and you get to see all their colors …” His voice trailed off as he thought back to the first time he’d ever seen one. It had been vibrant, blues and greens and purples and the sight had stayed with him to this day. “It’s really beautiful,” he added quietly. “And, I don’t know, something about them intrigues me. They’re one of the only animals that doesn’t show its true colors until you get to know it.” Shrugging lightly, Simon took a sip of his drink and said, “When I was eight, I thought that was really interesting. Like, when I went to see them, it was my own personal challenge to get them to spread their feathers like that.”
He paused for a moment, lost again in thought and Kaylee pulled him back. “So, did you like the zoo?”
Looking to her quickly, Simon sat forward and again began to eat. “I didn’t get to go.” As her face fell at this admission, Simon waved it off. “It was no big deal. My parents both had to work, and they wouldn’t let my nanny take me, I can’t remember why. So I ended up staying at home with a one-year-old River.” Glancing up to her, he said, “Who by the way was a brat even then. We had some cake. Some of the servants sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to me and I got to stay up late, watching a movie on the cortex. It was a good day.” He smiled at the memory, his disappointment from that day having faded long ago into his general disappointment surrounding his parents.
Simon continued to eat, not noticing for a few minutes that Kaylee was still. Glancing to her quickly, Simon noted the tears that had fallen down her face, and he went to her side, worried that she wasn’t feeling well. Placing a hand to her arm, he said quietly, “Kaylee, bao bei, are you all right?”
Turning to him, she said quietly, “I din’t know it’d be a sad story. Ain’t ya got any happy ones from when you was a kid?”
Simon smiled kindly at her, touched by her concern. Taking her hand in his, he told her truthfully, “Kaylee, I could tell a hundred stories of when I was a boy and most of them would probably end like that one.” As she bit her lip, Simon tried to reassure her. “I can guarantee you that I didn’t have an upbringing like yours. I wasn’t surrounded by family and cousins and I didn’t get to play until the sun went down. But it’s okay, I don’t regret any of it. Because if I hadn’t been born and raised in that exact way at that exact time, I never would have met you.”
He cupped her cheek in his hand and Kaylee nuzzled into it. “I’m sorry, Simon,” she whispered, her eyes closed.
“You don’t have to be sorry, Kaylee, really,” Simon told her. Straightening, he kissed her on the cheek and then extended his hand to her. “But if you want to make up to me, you could give me the pleasure of this dance.”
Smiling widely at him, her tears forgotten, Kaylee took his hand and stood. “There ain’t any music,” she whispered, as he pulled her close, his hand resting on the small of her bare back warming her skin, as his other wrapped around hers and brought it to his chest.
Shrugging, Simon said, “Maybe River’s rubbing off on me.” They both laughed, more than aware that his sister often danced to music no one else could hear.
Swaying on her feet, held tight in Simon’s arms Kaylee had never felt more content. Before resting her head against his shoulder, she allowed her eyes to again take in the scene around them; the flowers on every surface, the bright stars up above and the even brighter lights of Sihnon’s nighttime landscape.
With a contented sigh, Kaylee finally closed her eyes and leaned her cheek on his chest, smiling even bigger as she felt his cheek settle into her hair. “Did I tell you how beautiful you look tonight?” he asked, his voice low and soothing.
Smiling, Kaylee murmured, “You could tell me again.”
Pulling back from her a bit, Simon stopped their movement and cradled her face in his hands. Leaning his head to hers he whispered, “You are beautiful, Kaylee,” before he captured her lips in a long, lingering kiss that made Kaylee a bit lightheaded.
As they parted, she realized it wasn’t just the kiss that was causing her to stumble a bit. Gripping Simon’s forearms a bit tighter than she’d meant to, she rested her head against his chest again, trying to regain her balance. “You okay?” Simon asked quietly. He’d felt her falter a bit in his arms and he worried that maybe all of this had been just a bit much.
“Shiny,” she said heavily and Simon knew he’d been right.
Leaning back from her, he looked down to her face and saw the discomfort she was trying to hide. “I don’t think so,” he murmured. Keeping a strong arm around her waist, Simon guided her to a lounge chair, one of the only things not covered with daisies on the patio and helped her sit. Kneeling in front of her, he placed a hand to her cheek, getting a weak smile from him.
“Just a bit tired is all,” she told him. “I didn’t wanna ruin our fun.”
Kissing her lightly, he told her, “You didn’t.” Sitting behind her, Simon pulled her back into his chest, fitting her snugly between his legs and she sighed against him, her head rolling onto his shoulder.
Smiling at him as he pressed a kiss to her temple, she said, “Hmm, this is comfy.”
He smiled back and kept his arms around her, gazing up into the stars. He was dying to ask her his very important question, but he wanted her to be good and awake when he did. He hoped he hadn’t prolonged the evening to the point where he’d have to wait; the suspense could literally kill him.
After a few minutes, Kaylee felt better, her eyes again fluttering open. Looking to the sky, she sighed a bit and then gazed up at Simon, smiling wide. Her eyes catching a vase of white and yellow daisies beside them, she motioned to them and asked, “Can you hand me those?”
Puzzled as to why she’d want them, Simon reached for the vase and handed it to her, watching with interest as Kaylee sat forward a bit and cradled the urn between her knees. Carefully, she removed each of the stems, shaking the excess water off and deftly weaved them together until she had made a wreath.
Catching on, Simon asked, “Is that what you were talking about the other night?” Plucking the wreath from her hands, he had to marvel at her craftsmanship, before he placed the flowers in her hair. “The daisy chains you used to make with your cousins?”
Leaning against him, she toyed with a few of the buds she hadn’t needed as she said, “Yeah, we’d make ‘em all the time. My ma used to get so mad, I’d come home from playin’ an’ my clothes’d be all stained from the yellow petals.” She giggled a bit at the memory. “She jus’ didn’t understand how come I couldn’t stay way.”
Turning to face him again, her eyes shined as she cocked her head, asking for his silent approval of her new headwear.
“It’s beautiful,” he told her truthfully pressing a kiss to her cheek. As she settled back against him, he added, “But it won’t last.”
Frowning at him, she said, “Don’t pee on my parade,” getting a deep chuckle from him that vibrated into her back, making her feel warm all over.
“I wouldn’t dream of it,” he said, his lips still by her ear, his breath tickling her cheek. “But still,” he said casually, “I really think you need something a bit more permanent.”
Turning slightly to face him, she asked quizzically, “What’re you talkin’ about?”
Unable to keep the wide grin off his features, Simon told her, “Hold out your hand and close your eyes.”
Kaylee did as she was told, sitting up straighter and inhaling a breath as she anticipated what he was going to give her. Reaching into his pocket, Simon took out the ring he’d bought, the one he’d almost returned earlier that day to buy something more grand, and dropped it into her palm, closing her fingers around it. Shifting so he was sitting up a bit taller, he said, “Okay, open your eyes.”
Kaylee blinked her big green eyes to him and then slowly, still holding her breath, opened her palm. Gasping, she turned shining eyes to him and breathed, “Simon.”
Smiling at her, he said, “See? Permanent.”
Working her mouth for a few moments Kaylee tried to speak and found it almost impossible. As he had many days and nights before, Simon had again taken her breath away, and she could only gape, her heart pounding in her chest as she stared at the beautiful ring; a band of silver flowers, small, sparkling stones resting at the center of each one.
Taking the ring from her hand, Simon held it up in front of her and could only hold her teary gaze. There were so many things he wanted to say, so many things he wanted her to know that he had no idea where to begin. Even though he’d rehearsed it, he still found himself tongue-tied when confronted with her smiling face.
“Is that what I think it is?” Kaylee breathed, finding her voice faster than him.
Smiling wide, Simon couldn’t resist. “That depends. What do you think it is?”
Swatting his arm playfully, Kaylee giggled and Simon found his voice. “Kaylee, I-I never thought that I would end up here, at this moment in time, with a woman like you. I never thought, in my wildest dreams that someone like you, someone so kind and caring and beautiful would want me, would love me the way you have.”
Kaylee had tried to keep her tears in, but as the sincerity of his words pierced her heart, she couldn’t hold them in any longer and the happy drops fell down her cheeks steadily as she continued to listen.
Simon smiled at her sheepishly, reaching up to wipe at one of her cheeks as he continued. “And now, all I want for the rest of my life is to love you and care for you and make you as happy as you’ve made me. Every day. I don’t want you to ever feel pain or hurt again and if you do, I want to be there to make it better, to take it away.” Swallowing thickly, Simon kept going hoping his voice and his nerve wouldn’t falter. “I know I can, Kaylee. I know I can love you forever, so, will you let me?”
Dropping his eyes to her hand, he took her left one in his and started to slide the ring onto her finger slowly, pausing to ask, “Will you marry me?”
Kaylee had to swallow several times, her eyes fixated on the ring he’d placed on her finger. There were so many things swirling through her mind, so many emotions and her heart felt as if it might burst through her rib cage it was beating so hard. Blinking a few times, she wiped at her cheeks hastily and then returned her eyes to Simon’s face. His eyes were shining as well in the light, and she helped him push the ring the rest of the way, before reaching up to cradle his face in her hands. “Yes, Simon,” she breathed, her voice shaky with tears. “Yes, of course I will. I love you.”
Simon smiled at her, feeling such immense relief and intense love he felt his own heart thudding in his chest. Leaning towards her swiftly, he kissed her deeply, his hands caressing her cheeks, before he let them run down her arms and wrap around her back, pulling her to him. Kaylee sighed into his embrace, her arms wound around his neck, her fingers running through his silky hair.
Forced to part for air, neither of them spoke for several moments, continuing to stare at one another. It was a perfect moment, full of anticipation and hope and love for what their future might bring.
“You really wanna marry me?” she finally breathed, her mind having a hard time disgesting the concept.
Smiling at her, Simon ran a hand down her cheek and said quietly, “Only if you really want to marry me.”
With another squeal of delight, Kaylee wrapped her arms around his neck and could only laugh and cry at the same time. Simon held her back, basking in her joy, grateful for so many things, but her most of all.
“River’s gonna be so excited,” Kaylee said, her voice still breathless.
“She kind of already knew,” Simon admitted, not at all surprised when Kaylee pulled back to narrow her eyes at him in annoyance. Shrugging, he told her, “What did you want me to do? She’s a reader.”
Laughing heartily at that, Kaylee again stared at her hand, unable to tear her eyes away from her beautiful ring. Simon watched her and cleared his throat slightly, saying, “I was going to get something different, more traditional, but I-“
“No, it’s perfect,” Kaylee told him, pressing a finger to his lips. Kissing him, she grabbed for his hand and moved to stand. “C’mon, we gotta tell the cap’n an’ Inara and then I gotta-“
As Kaylee rose, she swayed on her feet; only Simon’s steadying arm kept her from falling hard to the ground. Gently guiding her back to sit on the chair, he brushed her hair from her face, noting how pale she’d suddenly gotten. “Kaylee?” he asked, not liking how glassy her eyes had just become or how shallow her breathing. Pressing his finger to her wrist, he felt for her pulse and liked what he felt there even less. “Kaylee? Can you hear me?”
Turning wide eyes to him, she breathed, “Simon?” And then, in an instant she convulsed in his arms, her body jerking back. Shocked and scared, Simon’s training saved him in that moment. Pulling her to him tightly, he rushed to their room, gently laying her down on the bed while he grabbed some of her medications. Administering a smoother, he breathed a sigh when her body stilled and her breathing returned to normal. Watching over her for a minute more, he hurried to the wave screen and punched in a code.
“Simon?” Eli’s voice was a bit gruff and Simon instantly felt bad for calling so late.
“I’m sorry, Doct- Eli,” he said quickly, glancing over his shoulder to be sure Kaylee was still resting comfortably. “I realize it’s late, but I was hoping you might be able to meet Kaylee and I at the hospital.”
His eyes blinking wide rapidly, the older man asked, “What happened?”
“She had another seizure,” Simon said quietly. “I managed to stop it, but I think it’d be safest to do another scan.”
Nodding at the younger doctor’s assessment, he said, “I agree. I’ll meet you at my office in thirty minutes.” As Simon reached to turn off the screen, he added, “We’ll help her, son. Don’t worry.”
With a sad smile, Simon only nodded before ending the transmission. He hadn’t wanted to tell the doctor, but worry had easily become second nature to him in the past three years, let alone the past three weeks.
Mal was fixing himself a cup of tea, wondering when it had become his beverage of choice when he couldn’t sleep in the middle of the night, when he heard River enter the kitchen.
Turning to face her, his easy smile ran off his face as he read the distress in her eyes. Moving towards her swiftly, he took her by the arms and asked quietly, “You all right, lil’ one?”
Shaking her head, her hair flying about, she turned her big brown eyes on him and said one word. “Kaylee.”
Doctor Butler was just finishing Kaylee’s neural scan by the time Mal, Inara and River showed up. Rising to greet them, Simon smiled at his sister as she hugged him and whispered, “Sorry. Had to tell them. They worry too.”
He kissed her cheek and said, “It’s okay, mei mei. I was going to call you once we had some news.”
“What is it, Simon?” Inara asked, her eyes already wide with fright. Mal took her hand in his own, trying to offer what comfort he could.
Rubbing a hand along the back of his neck, Simon said quietly, “We really don’t know yet. Eli’s doing a scan now, and hopefully-“
Turning at the sound of the older man’s voice, all four of them rushed to him as he poked his head out from the neural imaging suite. The door beside him opened wide in another minute as Kaylee’s gurney was rolled out by a few orderlies. Stopping as they recognized Simon from the weeks he’d been a permanent fixture in the hospital, they allowed him a minute to press a kiss to her cheek, before he ran his hand through her hair.
Looking back to the doctor, he asked, “What is it?”
“I thought we’d look at the scan together,” Eli told him, nodding once and watching as the orderlies again began to roll Kaylee away. “I’m figuring two sets of eyes are better than one.”
Nodding once, Simon was honored and relieved that the man had asked. He’d feel a lot better if he could actually do something. Turning to Inara, the question died on his lips as she squeezed his hand. “We’ll stay with her.”
Smiling his thanks, Simon watched the three of them leave and then turned back to Eli. “Let’s go.”
Simon and Eli stood in front of a large screen, their stances almost identical as they regarded Kaylee’s neural image. Simon had felt conflicted the minute the other man had displayed the scan; it wasn’t because he didn’t have faith in his abilities. Even though neurosurgery wasn’t his specialty, he knew enough, more than enough actually to muddle through; on the contrary, it was because of what he did know, or more importantly what he knew could go wrong that had his stomach churning uncomfortably.
Stepping forward a bit, Simon studied a particularly dense part of the image, scanning the vibrant colors for as much information as he could. Noting his curiosity, Eli asked, “You see something, son?”
Looking back to the other man quickly, Simon pointed to one area and said, “It could be nothing, but I’m thinking that’s another clot.” Tracing the edge of the white crescent, he continued. “Based on where it’s forming, it could have caused the seizure.”
Eli followed the man’s diagnosis, not at all surprised by his speed or his accuracy. His initial assessment of the younger man had been right on – he was one hell of a doctor. “I’d say you’re right,” Eli told him, stepping forward to also gauge the severity of the clot. As he stared, he wasn’t surprised to find Simon’s shoulders slump as he backed away from the image and paced towards the room’s opposite wall.
Regarding the image for a minute more, he waited until Simon asked what he needed too. “So, how do you treat it?”
Turning, Eli fipped off the screen and crossed his arms over his chest. “Well, we could do another surgery, but I think at this point that’s more invasive than Kaylee needs.” Simon nodded once, not all interested in seeing his fiancée have to go through another procedure.
“What’s the alternative?” Simon asked, trying to keep his emotions in check; trying desperately not to panic.
“We monitor her condition, up her diuretics, see if we can clear the clot on its own,” Eli said, crossing the room to stand in front of the young man. “There’s no reason to fear the worst, Simon. This is a fairly common reoccurrence for hematoma patients. Her body just needs to heal and that’s going to take some time.”
Simon nodded, knowing the man was right. Sighing, he looked down to his suit, realizing he probably looked a bit foolish wearing his finest clothes to the hospital in the middle of the night. Silently cursing himself, he muttered, “I should have waited.”
“What’s that?” Eli asked, puzzled by the boy’s annoyance.
Grimacing, he looked back to Eli and said, “Tonight, I – I asked Kaylee to marry me. I’m thinking it might have been too much for her.”
Unable to keep from grinning, Eli clapped a hand on his shoulder and said seriously, “Well, I think that depends, son.” As Simon raised quizzical eyes to his face, Eli continued, “Did she pass out before or after you asked her?”
Chuckling despite himself, Simon smiled wide at the older man. “Oh, I can tell you’d be a fun boss,” he murmured, barely aware the words were forming until he’d uttered them.
Picking up on the slip, Eli wasn’t about to let it slide. Crossing his arms back over his chest, he fixed the younger doctor with his most intimidating expression and questioned, “Would I now?”
Swallowing hard, Simon tried to backpedal – fast. “All I meant is … Well, I …” What had he meant? Had he really been considering it that seriously? Shaking his head again, he sighed. “I’m not sure what I meant. But if Kaylee’s condition is still this fragile, we won’t be leaving Sihnon anytime soon.” Eli nodded thinking that the young couple staying put for a while was probably the best thing for the young woman’s health. “And if we stayed, I could probably pick up some shifts at the hospital. Maybe consult for a while, until I got my certifications renewed.”
Sighing heavily again, he rubbed a tired hand over his face, wondering how they’d even started talking about this, when all he wanted was to see Kaylee. Sensing the other man’s distress, Eli placed a light hand to his shoulder and told him, “We don’t need to talk about that now, son. Or ever again, if you and Kaylee decide you need to go.” Simon smiled wearily at him as the man continued. “Why don’t you go see her? I’ll be by in a bit to check on her.”
Nodding his thanks, Simon turned to go, more than anxious to get to his bao bei’s side. Eli watched him leave, turning to regard the image. Simon reminded him just a bit of himself about forty years ago and he had to admit, it warmed his heart to see a doctor so young and dedicated, not only to medicine, but to that young woman who Eli knew meant more to Simon than anything else.
Smiling, he pulled the data stick from its reader and headed for his office to call his wife before checking on Kaylee.
Simon rounded the corner into Kaylee’s room and almost ran into Inara. “Oh, Simon,” she breathed, her expression conveying gratitude at his sudden appearance. “I’m glad you’re here.” Turning back to look at Kaylee, whose eyes were wide and frantic, Inara smiled to her and said, “See, mei mei, here he is.”
Hurrying to her side, Simon heard River mutter, “Told you,” from Kaylee’s side, her arms crossed over her chest in a gesture of frustration that no one had believed her.
Ignoring the rest of the people in the room, Simon sat beside Kaylee and took her hand as she reached for him. “Simon?” she asked, her voice a bit hoarse. “Why’m I back here?”
Smiling at her, Simon knew her disorientation was common, although that didn’t stop his heart from pounding as he read her fear. Running a hand against her cheek, he said quietly, “You had another seizure. I brought you back to the hospital for a scan.”
The tears that had pooled in Kaylee’s eyes fell down her cheeks, and Simon tried to wipe them away. “I ruined it,” she murmured, her voice wet from her tears. “I ruined all your plans.”
Smiling at her, Simon leaned down and brushed a kiss against her lips. “You agreed to marry me, didn’t you?” he whispered, his mouth right above hers. Meeting his blue eyes with her teary green ones, she nodded and he said, “Then I’d say the evening was a success.”
She smiled at that, and Simon felt the tension seep out of the room. Sitting on Kaylee’s other side River took the young girl’s hand, the one with the ring on it and admired it approvingly. “Going to be my sister,” River said proudly, turning to look at Inara and Mal and flashing them a big grin.
Inara, having known that Simon would ask, could only nod, her heart swelling with happiness for Kaylee and Simon both. Mal, on the other hand, was completely caught off guard. “She’s gonna … what?”
Glancing to the captain, Kaylee smiled one of her wide, supernova grins and held up her hand so the ring could catch the light. “Simon’s gonna make me an honest woman, cap’n. What’da think o’ that?”
His mouth agape, Mal could only stare from Kaylee to Simon to Inara and back again. Finally, after several attempts to speak and nothing happening, Inara squeezed his hand, hard, and he managed to blurt out, “Well, I think that’s shiny, lil’ Kaylee.” Looking to Simon, he leveled a finger at him and said, “You an’ me gonna have a talk.”
Wrinkling his brow, Simon asked him, “About what?”
He has me there. Searching for something to accuse the man of, Mal’s eyes drifted back to Kaylee’s face and saw the ridiculously happy expression there; of making my ruttin’ mechanic deliriously happy? Somehow Mal figured that threat lacked any real menace.
“Oh, just be happy, Captain Daddy,” River scolded, walking towards him and hugging him lightly. “Not taking our family away, just going to make it bigger.”
Mal smiled at the young girl and then looked to Inara whose tears were still shining in her eyes. With a resigned sigh, Mal waved a hand in the young couple’s direction and muttered, “Congratulations.”
Smiling, Simon suppressed the chuckle that rose in his throat and said, “Thank you, Mal. That means a lot.”
Knowing he was being mocked and not liking it, Mal shot the man a look and then turned his attention to Kaylee. “You gonna be okay?”
As she smiled at him and then turned her big eyes to the doctor, Mal knew her answer. “Jus’ shiny, cap’n.”
Muttering something none of them could make out, Mal turned and said, “All right then, mei mei. We’ll be back in the mornin’. You get some rest.”
Watching him go and wondering why he was in such a foul mood, Inara could only shake her head before moving to Kaylee’s side and pressing a kiss to her temple. “Congratulations, Kaylee, Simon,” she said, smiling widely at them. “It’s wonderful, really.”
They grinned to her and then River moved forward, giving her brother’s hand a squeeze and Kaylee’s cheek a light peck. “I’ll be back tomorrow,” she said lightly. Her hand lingering on Simon’s shoulder drew his eyes from Kaylee and to his sister’s face. “Don’t forget the parents,” she murmured and then floated out, joining Inara at the door.
After they’d gone, Simon wondered just who exactly she’d been talking about. “Do you think she meant my folks?” Kaylee asked, looking back to Simon, her left hand already rolling the ring around absentmindedly. “Before I passed out, I was gonna call ‘em.”
“Probably,” Simon said, his hand running through Kaylee’s hair, brushing across her cheek to remove her tears and the makeup stains there.
“Simon?” Swallowing hard, Kaylee waited until his eyes were focused on her face before she asked, “How long am I gonna feel like this?”
With a sigh, Simon edged a bit closer to her and said, “It’s difficult to say, Kaylee. A relapse like this, it’s very common.” As he watched more tears form in her eyes, Simon told her, “But you’re going to be fine.”
“I don’t wanna die,” she whispered softly, her eyes again widening with fright.
His own heart clenching in his chest at her statement, Simon told her firmly, “Kaylee, you’re not going to die. You’re going to be fine. Better than fine, I promise.”
“You’re sure, right?” She was begging him to be honest, to tell her with certainty that she would be all right. In his old life, Simon would never have made a statement like that, it was against the rules. But in his old life, he never would have had Kaylee, or done everything in his power to protect her.
Lying down easily beside her, he wrapped an arm around her waist and pulled her close. She came willingly, her warm body snuggling right up against him. “I am positive, Kaylee,” Simon murmured in her ear. Pressing a kiss to her temple, he said, “You just need to keep resting and healing. And I’ll take care of you.”
“Well, now you gotta,” she said slyly, her heart rate again returning to normal as she rested in his arms. “I am gonna be your missus.”
Chuckling lightly, Simon reaffirmed his hold on her and only allowed himself to drift to sleep once Kaylee had closed her eyes. “Mrs. Kaylee Tam,” he whispered into her ear, studying her profile for a moment more before his eyes fell shut.
Thursday, November 23, 2006 6:10 AM
Thursday, November 23, 2006 7:23 AM
Thursday, November 23, 2006 8:46 AM
Thursday, November 23, 2006 10:33 AM
Thursday, November 23, 2006 10:55 AM
Thursday, November 23, 2006 5:23 PM
Thursday, November 23, 2006 8:00 PM
Thursday, November 23, 2006 9:24 PM
Saturday, November 25, 2006 3:50 AM
Monday, November 27, 2006 5:32 AM
Wednesday, November 29, 2006 1:46 AM
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